Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/216

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hope of salvation, unless some human hand lifts them up and gives them a chance to try again. Some are lazy, and slip out of sight to escape service, some are too sharp, and prick and scratch wherever they are. Others are poor, weak things, who bend up and lose their heads as soon as they are used. Some obtrude themselves on all occasions, and some are never to be found in times of need. All have the choice to wear out or to rust out. I chose the former, and have had a useful, happy life so far. I'm not as straight as I once was, but I'm bright still, my point is sharp, my head firm, and age has not weakened me much, I hope, but made me wiser, better, and more contented to do my duty wherever I am, than when I left my native paper long ago."

Before Miss Ellen could express her respect for the worthy old pin, a dismal groan was heard from the blue cushion, and a small voice croaked aloud,—

"Alas, alas, I chose to rust out, and here I am, a miserable, worthless thing, whom no one can use or care for. Lift the ruffle, and behold a sad contrast to the faithful, honest, happy Granny, who has told us such a varied tale."